Subscribe to the Magazine for free
Subscribe for free to keep reading! If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The FDA Approves Wegovy® To Help Prevent Life-Threatening Cardiovascular Events

Medically reviewed by 
 
The FDA Approves Wegovy® To Help Prevent Life-Threatening Cardiovascular Events

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Novo Nordisk’s drug Wegovy® to reduce the risk of heart-related complications in adults with cardiovascular disease and obesity.

According to a statement from the agency: 

“Wegovy is now the first weight loss medication to also be approved to help prevent life-threatening cardiovascular events in adults with cardiovascular disease and either obesity or overweight. This patient population has a higher risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke. Providing a treatment option that is proven to lower this cardiovascular risk is a major advance for public health.” 

We’ll explore the potential implications of this approval in this article.

[signup]

What is Wegovy? 

Wegovy® is part of a class of medications called GLP-1 drugs — which stands for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists — that help manage blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes

Wegovy®, along with other GLP-1 drugs, has been increasingly used for weight loss purposes. Research supports this use case, with a recent study in The Lancet finding that a combination of GLP-1 drugs and exercise is the most effective treatment for long-term weight management. 

However, this is the first time that a weight loss medication has also been approved to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. 

This decision came as a result of a multi-national, multi-center, placebo-controlled double-blind drug trial called SELECT that was designed to test Wegovy®’s efficacy and safety for this new indication. 

Over 17,600 participants were randomly assigned to receive either Wegovy® or a placebo, along with standard-of-care medical treatment (e.g., management of blood pressure and cholesterol) and healthy lifestyle counseling (including diet and physical activity). 

The results showed that Wegovy® significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke — with these complications occurring only in 6.5% of participants who received the drug, compared to 8% of participants who received the placebo.

The implications of this news

Approving this new indication for Wegovy® could potentially expand insurance coverage for this drug, which currently costs more than $1,300 per dose. 

With more employers threatening to discontinue coverage of weight-loss drugs, the FDA’s decision could be critical in terms of making this medication more financially accessible for patients.

Between the European Union considering approving Wegovy® for the same indication and its recent rollout in Asia, it’s clear that there will be more developments to come with this GLP-1 drug. 

[signup]

Key Takeaways

  • The FDA has approved the use of Wegovy® to reduce the risk of heart-related complications in adults with cardiovascular disease and obesity.
  • The results of a drug trial found that the drug significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, and stroke.
  • This approval may lead to expanded insurance coverage.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Learn More
No items found.

Lab Tests in This Article

No items found.
Subscribe to the Magazine for free to keep reading!
Subscribe for free to keep reading, If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
See All Magazine Articles